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Policy and Research Publications Online Reports

Workplace Essential Skills: Resources Related to the SCANS Competencies and Foundation Skills (2000)

Workplace Essential Skills: Resources Related to the SCANS Competencies and Foundation Skills, a comprehensive report on necessary workplace skills, was developed by ACTTM under the direction of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, and the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. It provides the results of a comparison of the workplace basic skills defined by the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) with skill frameworks developed by a variety of national and international organizations. The comparison found a great degree of commonality in the skill definitions. Therefore, the research yielded a comprehensive common language for the discussion and examination of workplace basic skills. The report is intended to serve as a guide for human resources personnel, trainers, educators, and researchers who are interested in workplace basic skills training.

This research also expanded the usefulness of the skill definitions by developing behaviorally-anchored scales for each skill. These scales can serve as a common standard and reference point for workers, employers, trainers, educators, and program administrators as they consider work-related activities including the following:

1) Identifying the skills and skill levels required for employment

2) Estimating the skill levels of current or future workers

3) Identifying the skill development that will help match workers to job requirements

4) Describing individual skills as part of a job transition process

5) Identifying valid assessments for measuring workplace readiness

6) Using a hierarchical taxonomy of skills for easing the development of individual training plans and for preparing and developing employment training programs

This report provides crosswalks and links from the SCANS skill definitions and scales to relevant O*NET skill definitions and scale anchors. These crosswalks show features that are shared by the two frameworks and that are central to current U.S. workforce-related educational and training initiatives.

State and local areas that are required to provide workforce preparation and training for adults and youth to meet the requirements of Title I of the Workforce Investment Act, Adult Education and Family Literacy, and Perkins Vocational and Technical Education programs need to measure workplace readiness, basic, academic, and technical skills. They can use this report as a reliable reference as they develop standards and identify workplace competency assessments.

The synthesis of the workplace essential skill definitions, skill level descriptions, associated assessments, and exemplary case studies provided in this report, represent a "roadmap" for states that are incorporating workplace readiness skills into their vocational and technical education or adult education programs. Local providers of workforce investment services, vocational and technical education, and adult education will also find these frameworks and assessments useful to their local program development and improvement goals.

[Click Here] to View the Executive Summary Report in .PDF

[Click Here] to View the Complete Report Report in .PDF

There are 556 pages in this report.


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